Hi! It’s me, Laneia, how’s your International Mix Tape Week going? Your future is bright and everything, right? You’ve downloaded the FUTURE IS BRIGHT mix and you want to make it pretty in the grand tradition of superfly mix tapes of the olden days? But all you’ve got is one of those new-fangled CDs? Well, never fear. Your Guide to making a hot CD sleeve is here.
These handmade CD sleeves are reminiscent of classic album covers and are flippin’ easy to make, for real. However, I’ve never done a tutorial before, so there’s a 40% chance that these instructions will make no sense. Post any questions you may have in the comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Now download your PDF template and get started!
Version 1 – The simple version
Important Note! When printing your templates, DO NOT scale the image to fit the page!
+ used file folder or an empty cereal/cracker/pop-tart box
+ tacky glue
+ bone folder
+ binder clips/paper clips
+ fancy template
+ magazine clippings, stickers, sequins, photo corners, ribbon, fun fur, jazz hands, your imagination, etc. for personalizing
Version 1 is so simple, I think the template speaks for itself. The following instructions are primarily for Version 2, which is only slightly more complicated.
Step 2: Fold the tabs over the side of a ruler to create straight edges. Fold the large rectangular piece in half using the same method. Crease all folds with a bone folder (or comparable tool).
Step 3: Align each piece and double-check that they all fit together nicely. If you’re making Version 2, you’ll probably need to cut a tiny strip from the untabbed side of the tabbed square to ensure the front cover can fold over properly after glued.
Step 4: Apply several tiny drops of glue to the outside of the tabs, place on top of the right side of the rectangular piece (if using Version 1, simply fold over), then secure with binder clips and paper clips all the way around. Allow the glue to dry for a few minutes.
Step 5: Decorate and personalize! This is the best part, obviously. The theme for this mix was “The Country Says Hello” — a love letter to a country girl living in the big city. I found some magazine clippings of greenery and flowers to glue over the black and white cityscape that was already printed on the file folder and wrote the playlist on the inside of the front flap. Hand-writing the playlist is a nice touch.
Here are a couple of other examples of cd sleeves I’ve made!
The Saturday Morning mix sleeve was made using a plain file folder, so I had plenty of blank space to fill in. It reflects the theme in a number of ways and was hella fun to make. Our Saturday mornings are usually spent at the Downtown Public Market, so the recycled magazine envelope, which is attached using self-adhesive photo corners, holds several business cards from local farms and bakeries, as well as an expired Valley Metro pass. The Westward Hotel is a major landmark of downtown Phoenix, so I had to include a picture of it inside the front flap. Utilizing a small envelope on the inside of your cd sleeve is a great way to preserve small items from road trips or other special occasion. This project ended up being more of a scrapbook than a simple cd holder, which is super nostalgic of me, la la la laaaa!
The Mix Tape Day ’09 sleeve was made using an empty cereal box. The outside art is on the inside of the sleeve! Cheryl wrote the playlist on the front cover and drew a simple picture of a cassette tape. Voilà! Easy peasy.
The template we’ve provided here can be tweaked in a few places to make it even more unique. Try cutting the tabbed square in Version 2 into a tabbed triangle instead, or a half square with a scalloped opening edge would be cute, too. Attach two small pieces of ribbon to tie it closed, or Velcro! Who among us doesn’t love Velcro? Use your imagination and have fun! [I sound like a Kindergarten teacher! Don’t eat that paste!]